Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Arteaga v. Burnet County Commissioners Court

United States District Court, W.D. Texas, Austin Division

June 27, 2019

ROBERT MICHAEL ARTEAGA
v.
BURNET COUNTY COMMISSIONERS COURT, et al.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          ANDREW W. AUSTIN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         TO: THE HONORABLE LEE YEAKEL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         The Magistrate Judge submits this Report and Recommendation to the District Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §636(b) and Rule 1(f) of Appendix C of the Local Court Rules. Defendants removed this action from state court and move to dismiss the case. Plaintiff did not file a response.

         STATEMENT OF THE CASE

         At the time he filed his complaint, Plaintiff was confined in the Polunsky Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice - Correctional Institutions Division. He complains of the conditions of his confinement in the Burnet County Jail in 2013. He additionally complains of an Order to Withdraw Funds issued by a Burnet County judge in November 2018 which the clerk of court mailed to the TDCJ - Inmate Trust Fund Department for collection. Defendants move to dismiss as time-barred Plaintiff's claims regarding his 2013 confinement. Defendants further move to dismiss Plaintiff's claim regarding the Order to Withdraw for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.

         DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS

         A. Standard Under Rule 12(b)(6)

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires a complaint to contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). A motion under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) asks a court to dismiss a complaint for “failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). To survive a motion to dismiss, the plaintiff must plead sufficient facts to state a claim for relief that is facially plausible. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009); Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). “A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 566 U.S. at 678. Although a plaintiff's factual allegations need not establish that the defendant is probably liable, they must establish more than a “sheer possibility” a defendant has acted unlawfully. Id. Determining plausibility is a “context-specific task, ” and must be performed in light of a court's “judicial experience and common sense.” Id. at 679.

         In deciding a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), a court generally accepts as true all factual allegations contained within the complaint. Leatherman v. Tarrant Narcotics Intelligence & Coordination Unit, 507 U.S. 163, 164 (1993). However, a court is not bound to accept legal conclusions couched as factual allegations. Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286 (1986). Although all reasonable inferences will be resolved in favor of the plaintiff, the plaintiff must plead “specific facts, not mere conclusory allegations.” Tuchman v. DSC Commc'ns Corp., 14 F.3d 1061, 1067 (5th Cir. 1994). In deciding a motion to dismiss, courts “must consider” the complaint, as well as other sources such as documents incorporated into the complaint by reference and matters of which a court may take judicial notice. Tellabs, Inc. v. Makor Issues & Rights, Ltd., 551 U.S. 308, 322 (2007).

         B. Statute of Limitations

         There is no federal statute of limitations for § 1983 actions. Piotrowski v. City of Houston, 51 F.3d 512, 514 n.5 (5th Cir. 1995); Henson-El v. Rogers, 923 F.2d 51, 52 (5th Cir. 1991), cert. denied, 501 U.S. 1235 (1991). Therefore, the Supreme Court has directed federal courts to borrow the forum state's general personal injury limitations period. Owens v. Okure, 488 U.S. 235, 249-50 (1989). In Texas, the applicable limitations period is two years. Moore v. McDonald, 30 F.3d 616, 620 (5th Cir. 1994) (citing Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. § 16.003(a) (Vernon 1986)). Nevertheless, federal law determines when a § 1983 cause of action accrues. Gartrell v. Gaylor, 981 F.2d 254, 257 (5th Cir . 1993). A cause of action under § 1983 accrues when the aggrieved party knows, or has reason to know of, the injury or damages which form the basis of the action. Piotrowski, 51 F.3d at 516.

         Plaintiff's claims regarding the conditions of his confinement accrued in 2013. Plaintiff did not file his complaint until 2019, long after the expiration of the limitations period. Accordingly, Plaintiff's claims regarding the conditions of his confinement are time-barred.

         C. Order to Withdraw Funds

         Plaintiff complains Burnet County District Clerk, Casie Walker, unconstitutionally imposed a bill of cost or assessed fees and sent them out to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice -Correctional Institutions Division with instructions to withdraw from the plaintiff's trust fund account. Plaintiff alleges he was not provided notice or a hearing before the order was issued, and as a result, he was denied due process. The Order to Withdraw Funds ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.